Orthopedics and plastic surgery top the list of highest paid specialties

Last week, Medscape released its annual Physician Compensation Report for 2020. The report’s data was collected prior to February 10, 2020 and therefore reflects physician income before the United States’ COVID-19 crisis. However, according to the report, practices have seen, on average, a 55% decrease in revenue and 60% decrease in patient volume since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, remote patient engagement (e.g., telehealth) has increased 225%.

The top five highest paid specialties and their salaries included:

  1. Orthopedics: $511K
  2. Plastic surgery: $479K
  3. Otolaryngology: $455K
  4. Cardiology: $438K
  5. Radiology: $427K

Notably, orthopedics and cardiology have made the top five list for the past 6 years. Like last year, primary care specialties ranked among the lower-earning specialties. Family medicine ($234K), public health and preventive medicine ($232K), and pediatrics ($232K) were the lowest paid specialties.

The average base salary for primary care physicians was $215K. According to the report, male primary care physicians continued to make approximately 25% more than female primary care physicians, with men averaging $264K in salary while women averaged $212K. Male specialists earned approximately 31% more than female specialists, with male specialists averaging $375K while female specialists averaged $286K.

The surveyed group included more than 17,000 physicians across more than 30 specialties. Of respondents, 64% identified as male, 34% as female, and 2% preferred not to say.

Source: Medscape